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Which other musical instrument to learn?

(18 Posts)
Lottie4 Wed 22-May-13 10:25:47

My daughter is only in Year 7, but adamant she wants to do a GCSE in music (although she's always been interested in doing something arty/design). At the moment she plays a violin, but wants to play another instrument. She's interested in flute, guitar and piano, but think she'd play anything suggested. Happy for her to do it just for fun, but in case it takes her anywhere workwise, which other instrument would be good to choose?

AMumInScotland Wed 22-May-13 10:57:53

Piano is always a good second instrument to have, as it is useful for composition and for accompanying others as well as for playing it yourself. Some music degree courses require you to have a certain standard in piano as a requisite, so if she might go that direction it would be a good choice.

But it does mean you need a piano for practice once she gets to a certain stage, which isn't always the most convenient instrument to have in the house.

hellsbells99 Wed 22-May-13 11:07:35

Hi OP. My DD plays all the instruments you have said. Guitar is self taught and for fun but she plays all the time at home. Has also been great for sing songs with friends, guide holidays etc. Flute and violin are both great as she plays in different groups/concert bands with these so has a social life involving them, but not as good for jamming sessions etc! Piano - plays a lot of pop songs etc but has also done some grades - as mentioned above, this has probably been more useful for gcse compositions etc. All would be good choices!

ZZZenagain Wed 22-May-13 11:19:49

piano is more solitary of course but if she wants to study violin at some stage, she should probably be able to play the piano to some degree. If she definitely isn't veering that way, why not try the flute since she could play in ensembles/orchestras which might be more interesting?

You need a different left hand hold for violin and guitar (obviously really) also you put your fingers down on the strings differently, so in the beginning there is an adjustment to make. Don't do it if dd has left hand issues on the violin atm, sort those out first. My dd tinkers about on the guitar when she feels like it but she has lessons in violin and piano. If your dd isn't interested in classical guitar, tbh I think she will be able to just pick it up on her own pretty much since she already plays the violin. I got dd a guitar and she had a couple of lessons but the teacher said she didn't need them really, she was just teaching herself by transposing violin pieces onto the guitar automatically. You'll probably find the same. Get her a book on it or have a term of lessons and that should be enough to get her started.

I've found that piano is a good balance to violin and also helps with it. So your dd can play something on the piano which she then practises on the violin etc. Pianos are big, loud and expensive and you also have the yearly tuning, so keep that in mind

BirdintheWings Wed 22-May-13 12:21:39

Would second piano for GCSE music, as DS is struggling a bit without that background. We have a decent digital piano which doesn't need tuning and would be fine for early grades (but he didn't want to learn before now. Sigh).

somebloke123 Wed 22-May-13 14:08:49

Yes I'd go for piano too. It's a great asset for any musician to have a degree of keyboard facility.

This book may be worth a look:

apatchylass Wed 22-May-13 16:04:11

Good thread.

Can I ask it the other way round? DS plays piano and does jazz, classical and composition on it, but he plays nothing else. He's nowhere near good enough to be the school's pianist in concerts (they have grade 8 year 7s! hmm ) and he'd like to get involved in more school music groups. He really wants to start saxophone, but I keep trying to encourage him to choose a cross over instrument (eg - clarinet is classical or jazz; violin is classical or folk) but he's insistent.

I'm not musical at all. Any advice?

(Hope you don't mind my asking on your thread OP.)

chocoluvva Wed 22-May-13 17:46:25

If you have the space - double bass. Clarinet 'crosses over' as does the trumpet.

Or percussion.

prettydaisies Wed 22-May-13 18:31:32

DD plays violin, clarinet and piano. All are different so there's no worries about muddling up technique.

eatyourveg Wed 22-May-13 19:19:45

ds3 went for drums as he figured there would be plenty of guitar and keyboard players around and drummers would be in demand for anyone at school wanting to set up a band. A couple of years ago there was a girl at dc's school who did drums for her gcse performance - she was always incredible at the school concerts.

ds1 did guitar and taught himself piano - got himself a music scholarship on the strength of it. Found both easy to pick up

If your DD really is not fussed then I'd maybe look at the costs involved - buy/hire and tuition on top of that. Can she learn form a peripatetic teacher in school or would you be able to find someone locally

eatyourveg Wed 22-May-13 19:22:39

apatchylass ds1 did saxaphone but gave up after a year and he regrets it to this day. Apparently the fingering is similar to a recorder, I'd say go for it

savoirfaire Wed 22-May-13 23:48:41

Sax! If he is keen and feels he has persuade you he will be doubly keen. It is more cross over than you might realise. Look up Teleman's sonata for example or listen again to Bolero. I was in orchestra, jazz bands, concert bands, stage bands, the works through school and was one of the most sort after musicians in the school which was loaded with clarinettists but I was one of two good sax players. I took up the clarinet much later on when I was about grade 6 sax and did grade 6 clarinet within a year. Yes if he plays recorder he will pick up sax v easily - I was playing proper pieces (obviously very easy ones) the night I brought my (loaned) sax home for the first time whereas on other instruments I would have been making my way through the basic fingering guide.

savoirfaire Wed 22-May-13 23:49:25

Apologies for dreadful typos and spelling mistakes! Blame iPhone

notfluffy Thu 23-May-13 08:16:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

apatchylass Fri 24-May-13 16:06:29

Hey savoir, that is a really great reply. Thank you for that. He'll be thrilled. (And I may continue to appear unsure, just to keep his interest really strong grin )

RaspberryLemonPavlova Fri 24-May-13 22:10:42

Apatchylass Sax is fab. DD plays alto and baritone sax. Admittedly she can't play them in the local Music Service orchestra, or her secondary school orchestra, but there are masses of windbands and jazz groups she is eligible for (and she plays cello in the other groups).

Fingering is the same for all saxes too.

WastedTomatoGuts Sat 25-May-13 21:46:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

savoirfaire Tue 28-May-13 21:35:10


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